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Victoria Beach cottagers take province to court over erosion-control wall

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WINNIPEG - Five Victoria Beach lakefront cottagers have taken the province to court to block the removal of a rock wall Manitoba’s Conservation Department claims was built without proper authorization.

Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie said today because the matter is now before a judge, the province has been halted in its effort to have the rock wall removed from Arthur Beach.

The province has ordered the wall, also called a "revetment," removed before the lake breaks up; heavy machinery needs access via an ice road.

The cottagers are Robert Conly, Barbara Suderman, Fred Buffi, Susana Dul-Buffi and Helen Anderson. A court hearing is set for March 30 in Court of Queen’s Bench.

The rock wall was built several weeks ago to prevent further erosion on the beach in front of several properties, properties that have seen the land in front of them washed away by the waves of Lake Winnipeg.

The most recent damage happened last October in a gigantic storm. Lakefront cottagers at the Victoria Beach, and other communities in the south basin, fear if they don’t do something now more land, and perhaps even their cottages, could be washed away in the next storm. Lake levels are forecasted to be high again this summer.

Other cottagers say revetments are the worst way to protect the summer community’s beaches as they do not allow the lake to replenish the beaches with sand.

They say the entire community should be involved in the process because they fear the beaches will be lost by construction of revetments and other erosion-control barriers.

History

Updated on Monday, March 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM CDT: Corrects date of hearing.

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